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Old December 7, 2017, 10:07 AM   #1
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.45LC For Deer & Black Bear?

Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone here has ever hunted either whitetail/mule deer and/or black bear with 45LC? I am familiar with some of the hotter loads that essentially turn the 45LC into a .44 mimic, but wanted to know how they worked on game in the real world. I am either going to get a Marlin '92 in 45LC or a Henry in .44 mag, but would actually prefer to get a 45lc if its plausible. I was looking to actually get the Puma 92 in .454 but after finding out they were discontinued and not being brought back by Rossi, I figure this is the second-best option.

Note: This is assuming that shot placement is well met, and within 100 yards.
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Old December 7, 2017, 10:14 AM   #2
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Here is a link for the 45 that gives you numbers by the barrel length. It looks like if you use heavier bullets for hunting they should be good enough for deer and small to medium sized black bear.
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Old December 7, 2017, 10:33 AM   #3
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45 colt

Would you be carrying a handgun in 45lc when hunting and if so, would it use the same ammo?

Do you reload?

This cartridge would work or deer/black bear.
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Old December 7, 2017, 10:38 AM   #4
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Yes, I'll likely pair this with a Ruger Redhawk 5.5" in the same caliber. I've heard that the Buffalo Bore 325gr Hard Cast will work for Moose and Grizzly in .45.. if that is even half accurate I wouldn't mind having my Redhawk with me while in the backcountry on trips out west or to Alberta.

Also, I am in college so space is limited but I'd like to get into reloading starting in the summer if at all possible.
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Old December 7, 2017, 11:57 AM   #5
Art Eatman
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Heavy, hard-cast bullets with large meplats are generally the preferred bullets for such as the .44 Mags and the 45-caliber revolvers (Colt, Casull, etc.).

There could be the issue of feeding, in a lever action.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:25 PM   #6
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Standard .45 Colt loads have worked fine on medium game even with a HP. Of course that reduces the penetration quite a bit. A wide meplat will create a larger than projectile wound and the faster its pushed the wider the cavity. Without expansion even a standard velocity .45 bullet can go nose to tail through medium game depending on what's struck.
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Old December 7, 2017, 01:33 PM   #7
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The difference between a .45 Colt and a .44 Mag is just the velocity and felt recoil. It's big and slow vs big and fast. Same thing, only different. Neither Bambi nor Yogi will know or care which one puts 'em in the freezer. The Colt has being doing it since 1873 or so.
The only advantage to the Mag is that you can load down to .44 Special or just use .44 Special, if you can find any.
"...or to Alberta..." Absolutely not. No handguns allowed while hunting anywhere in Canada. No CCW either. Getting caught will result in your arrest, being escorted to the border, turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol with no further entry to Canada at all, at the very least. Charged, convicted, jailed(possibility of 10 years as a guest of The Queen), then escorted to the border and a criminal record at worst.
" college so space is limited..." There are lots of small space options for reloading. A Lee Classic Reloader is one. Biggest issue is whether you're in Residence or not. Most Universities don't allow firearms on campus. And getting caught will likely result in getting kicked out. Look into that first, but reloading in small domiciles is entirely possible.
You shoot at a Griz or Bullwinkle with any handgun, you'll just make him angry.
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Old December 7, 2017, 01:47 PM   #8
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The difference between a .45 Colt and a .44 Mag is just the velocity and felt recoil. It's big and slow vs big and fast.
It can also be big and fast vs. big and fast, if you have the right .45 Colt gun and loads.

And don't think you need 300gr+ bullets to work, either. A 250gr slug @ 1100+fps from either will go though both sides of any whitetail or muley you are likely to meet. And the only time you're going to be shooting Grizz is if he's chaw'in on ya...

And if he is, at that point, caliber choice is rather irrelevant.

Best bear defense is your mind, operating your eyes, ears, and FEET, properly.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old December 7, 2017, 02:53 PM   #9
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Loads for 45 Colt are all over the place. The lighter loads made for cowboy action shooting are not acceptable. Most other factory loads are borderline, but handloads, (in a firearm that will handle them) will exceed anything you can do with a 44 mag. Especially from a rifle.

With even moderate loads I'd not be afraid to hunt deer, bear, or elk with a 45 Colt in a rifle. I'm not good enough with a handgun, but it would do the job too.

You shoot at a Griz or Bullwinkle with any handgun, you'll just make him angry.
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Old December 7, 2017, 04:57 PM   #10
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Most other factory loads are borderline...
I suppose that depends on the projectile and expectations.

Black powder revolvers of that caliber with even less than standard velocity loadings penetrates quite a bit and would still work quite well. Even the little balls that weigh about 140 grns are shown to penetrate quite far if it doesn't expand much and work quite well. And these projectiles are pure lead or close to it. Naturally the wound channels won't be a huge as one driven at magnum velocities, especially with a HP, but are still more than efficient and doing what's needed to be done if you do your part.

More is often better, but there becomes a point in which it's becomes nearly pointless. Dead is dead and any animal that couldn't go further than ~25 yds is exceptional.

The .44-40 and .45 Colt earned well respected reputations and certainly weren't magnums and didn't use hollow points.
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Old December 7, 2017, 06:15 PM   #11
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I'm at the age that I most likely will not be deer hunting again because I really don't have the desire. I've killed two deer with a handgun one with a 1911A1 in 45acp the other with a 357 Magnum. I've sold off most of my gun collection at an auction the last of October of this year. About half of the guns were handguns which included guns in 32, 38 special, 9mm, 40S&W, 10mm, 44 special, 44Magnum, 45acp and 45 colt, I handloaded for all but the 32s. That being said I kept one large caliber revolver in case I ever get the urge to hunt with a handgun again, it's a Ruger Blackhawk Bisley in 45 Colt. I have a handload for this revolver moving a 270 grain wide flat nose cast bullet that I cast myself at 1100fps. It'll kill anything I come up against in Missouri and I wouldn't feel undergunned to hunt with it in any state in the USA.

Last edited by Hunter Customs; December 9, 2017 at 02:17 PM.
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Old December 8, 2017, 12:34 AM   #12
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That ballistics-by-the-inch website, while otherwise useful, is much less so when considering the 45 Colt, as they only sampled three loads, all light-for-caliber, not well representing the caliber. It would have been good to include some 300 grain ammo; but their failure to provide some results with 250-255 grain lead bullets is unfathomable. They need to do a do-over with a better representation of the caliber.
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Old December 8, 2017, 08:07 AM   #13
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At close range, even the "hot loads" aren't necessary. I killed 3-4 deer with a 4" 44SP back in the 90's. Most were within 20-25 yards but one was around 50-60 yards and all were one shot kills. Some took longer to die than others but a big hole through the lungs usually does the job.
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Old December 9, 2017, 08:06 PM   #14
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My favorite load is the 280gr SWC "SAA". With 10gr of Unique, it runs over 1050 and has gone stem to stern through a 150# hog. Brian Pearce has written and used this bullet extensively. His son used a similar load on a Black Bear at 40 yards, blowing "fist sized chunks out with each shot". I haven't picked up my Super Blackhawk in many years.
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Old December 9, 2017, 08:18 PM   #15
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You need to read this book,,,,
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